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Will “The Magnificent” Yanakeff Leads Spartan Hockey to 4-2 Win Over the Irish Here in South Bend!

Compton Family Ice Arena

South Bend, Indiana

Michigan State got the big win tonight over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-2 behind another great performance by goalie, Will “The Magnificent” Yanakeff. Yanakeff had a great weekend (the Spartans split 1-1) with only one bad play the entire weekend.

Head Coach Tom Anastos said of his nationally emerging net minder, “We thought he played a real good game last night and we saw that again tonight.” Yanni made his coach once again look like a genius with his incredible play and brilliant ability to make the simple look easy.

Former Spartan super star goalie and now MSU goalie coach Mike Gilmore said of his pupil, “I think he is an elite goalie now and he’s showing it.” 

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So how much as Yanakeff’s play impacted this team? Torey Krug said of his goalies play, “HUGE! The way he is playing in net is really helping us. He competes as hard as anyone.”

As far as the sophomore from Jerome, Michigan all he could say about his incredible play in the net was, “I always see the things I can and need to improve on. Right now this isn’t about me, it’s about the team.”

Speaking of high achievers, junior defenseman Torey Krug not only played the roll of scorer, enforcer, psychologist and captain tonight he also secured a tie for the CCHA scoring title. Not only a great accomplishment, but also you have to remember he is the star DEFENSEMAN! I asked him if he could take time to appreciate the accomplishment he said, “For a second maybe you step back, but this is about Michigan State right now and winning a playoff series.”

Yanakeff beamed a smile when asked about Krug’s success and said, “The only way to put it is, AWESOME!.” The Senator Tom Anastos said, “Awfully hard thing to do. Incredible feat. I know his teammates are sure proud of him. I am real proud of him and will all take pride in that accomplishment.”

The Spartans had been 0-8-3 since January of 2008 when then MSU head coach Rick Comley told the media after a tie with the Irish, “They can’t beat us.” They proved him wrong.

So the Spartans finish the season 19-13-4 and were 14-11-3-2 in the CCHA. They will get a bye next week for the first round of the CCHA playoffs. They will travel the weekend of the March 9-11, 2012 to Miami of Ohio to take on the Red Hawks for the CCHA playoff quarterfinals.